Latest Post

Looking for Sunday buffet brunch outings in Penang? Equatorial Hotel hits the spot!

Sunday brunch is always a lovely indulgence, but its always made better with a buffet. And what if the buffet has the best of two worlds? Zac Teo explores the newly launched Endless Buffet Sunday Brunch by Equatorial Hotel Penang

Penang is known as much for its indulgent smorgasbords as its traditional fare and for good reason - the city has truly defined the culinary landscape of the region over the years.  While the prices at majority of the buffets in major hotels around Penang has gone up considerably over the past decade, the quality of food that you will find there has improved dramatically as well. In fact, most buffets actually serve up fairly high end dining experiences these days. 

Variety of chilled seafood at Nada Lama, Equatorial Hotel Penang. Photograph: Zac Teo/

Who on earth can say no to a hearty brunch on a lazy Sunday?  The Endless Buffet Sunday Brunch at Equatorial Hotel Penang is not the first buffet in the island to really reinvent the wheel, however the concept of offering food from two famous restaurants in the hotel really heightens the culinary satisfaction. 

Diners can actually enjoy the buffet spread from two establishments - Nada Lama Coffee House and also Kampachi Japanese Restaurant. Many readers may be familiar with Kampachi Japanese Restaurant in Equatorial Hotel as it is one of the most famous and authentic Japanese restaurant in the island. On the other hand, Nada Lama is actually the previous Coffee Garden which has gone through extensive refurbishment and renovation to its current grand modern stature today.

Digesting all about this buffet, literally and figuratively, could prove to be a handful, thus has compiled 5 points on why you should consider this place as your next buffet destination.


Equatorial Hotel Penang is one of the largest hotels on the island, with its ever spacious hallways, general spacing and a great sense of openness throughout the place. Thus, it doesn't come as a surprise that the seating area at Nada Lama is specious and spread open, giving diners a sense of spaciousness. The cafe overlooks the hotel swimming pool, bestowing the buffet place with a tinge of relaxation making it ultra suitable for family outings with young children exploring the area. The buffet runs from noon till about 2:30pm on Sunday, providing ample time for families to slowly indulge in the buffet spread while catching up.

Seating area overlooking the swimming pool  at Nada Lama. Photograph: Zac Teo/


The name Nada Lama can be literally translated in Malay to mean the melodies of yesteryear, which in turn pays tribute to Penang vibrant past and colonial ancentry. This is reflected in the color scheme of the restaurant itself, with its decorative floor tiles and artful food counters in red-white-grey tones. The Endless Sunday Buffet Brunch at Nada Lama features an impressive selection of dishes from around the world, including Italian, American and Asian cuisines. Hot dishes for consist of sotong masak sambal istimewa, daging kurma, kari ketam, lamb shoulder vindaloo, to name a few.

The buffet spread at Nada Lama, Equatorial Hotel Penang. Photograph: Zac Teo/

For those looking for a lighter kick-off, you can opt to start off the buffet with a healthy and refreshing range of starters and salad at the cold bar before tucking into chilled seafood on ice like mussels, prawns, crabbies  and freshly shucked oysters. Nada Lama has stayed on top of their game on this category, although the key difference is that Nada Lama has scaled up on the aesthetic appeal of their seafood, instead going for a more common presentation. What they still nailed perfectly is their crabbies, oysters and crab legs - with quality and variety being the key to this win.

Variety of chilled seafood at Nada Lama, Equatorial Hotel Penang. Photograph: Zac Teo/

Another highlight in the buffet line would be the made-to-order pasta station whereby diners can customize on the type of pasta and it will be prepared on the spot. The chefs utilizes a variety of condiments such as onions, spinach and tomato to complement the pasta. 

Pasta Station at Nada Lama, Equatorial Hotel Penang. Photograph: Zac Teo/

I sincerely wished that I had more stomach capacity to take in desserts, but I left the remaining quota to savor food from Kampachi Japanese Restaurant. However, upon scoping the dessert spread at Nada Lama, I spotted green tea tiramisu, baked pumpkin cheese cakes, assorted mousse cakes as well as Bubur Cha Cha!


Some would say that this ordinary-looking restaurant is one of the best and consistently in the top tier of the Japanese cuisine landscape in Penang - and this is now brought to further prominence with this Endless Sunday Buffet Brunch. The decoration and interior of the restaurant is relatively normal, with the colour scheme hovering around different shades of beige. So why, then, does Kampachi attract so many regulars week in and week out despite the countless Japanese restaurants mushrooming across the island over the years?

The main reason is, of course, the top notch quality of the sushi and teppanyaki.

Stepping into Kampachi Japanese Restaurant, Equatorial Hotel Penang. Photograph: Zac Teo/

Upon stepping into Kampachi, the walkway leads to the main eating hall but right before that, diners can see the teppanyaki masters in action. Choices of fresh ingredients include bamboo clams, chicken, beef and fish - just select and it will be freshly cooked on the spot.

Teppanyaki Counter at Kampachi Japanese Restaurant. Photograph: Zac Teo/

Last but not least, no Japanese food is complete without sashimi. Freshness does matter, however the texture of the flesh makes or breaks these dishes - in this case, it's made.  The texture of the most elemental ingredient at Kampachi is exactly right. The rice for the range of nigiri sushi and rolls is firm but every bite is never dry nor hard, while the fish is generally soft yet offers slight resistance. The result? Almost perfect sushi being dished out at Kampachi.

Japanese chefs at the sushi counter of Kampachi Japanese Restaurant. Photograph: Zac Teo/


On top of the dishes that both restaurants prepare in their respective buffet lines, Nada lama and Kampachi both combines to prepare additional dishes and extending the buffet line in the foyer. For example, Kampachi prepares crowd-favourite dishes such as tempura, shabu-shabu, agemono as well as tsukemono. Nada Lama then tops it off with the perennial favourite ice kacang machine!

Ice Kacang Machine as part of the buffet line in the foyer. Photograph: Zac Teo/

As part of the refurbishment works at Nada Lama, the action station has now been relocated to an outdoor setting near the swimming pool. With its intense cooking, the station prepares an assortment of hot dishes using fresh seafood as well as grilled meats and sausages.

Action Station located outdoors at Nada Lama, Equatorial Hotel Penang. Photograph: Zac Teo/


Enjoying the best of both worlds in one of the longest buffet lines in Penang does not necessarily have to burn a hole in your pocket - it is currently priced at a reasonable RM118 nett for adults while children and senior citizens will enjoy a 50% discount of the adult price. All restaurants in Equatorial Hotel Penang is certified Halal. 

The Equatorial Hotel Penang Endless Buffet Sunday Brunch officially starts every Sunday from 3rd April 2016 onward. Reservations can be made by contacting Nada Lama Restaurant at its direct line +604 632 7073. would like to record its appreciation to Hotel Equatorial Penang for extending the invitation to review this buffet.

Zac Teo

Zac Teo

No comments:

Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.